The 25 Greatest Football Players of the 20th Century

On this list, we’re going to show you the 25 greatest football (soccer) players of the 20th century.

25. Gheorghe Hagi

Gheorghe Hagi

Gheorghe Hagi was born on February 5, 1965. He played his first international match on August 10, 1983 in a friendly against the Norway team.

Gheorghe Hagi played 125 international matches and scored 35 goals. He is considered to be the best player in the history of Romania. Gheorghe Hagi is one of the best players to have played in the center of the attacking range throughout history.

Always relying on his left foot and very similar to the Argentine legend Diego Armando Maradona for the similarity of his style.

During his career Hagi won several individual awards Most notably the top scorer of the Romanian league and the European Cup on many occasions.

The Romanian Player of the Year award, the best player in history and the best coach in Romania in 2015.

24. Eric Cantona

Eric Cantona

Eric Daniel Cantona was born on May 24, 1966, a former French footballer who starred in the 1990s.

He finished his football career with Manchester United. Where he won four league titles in five seasons and won two championships and a two-time FA Cup.

Cantona is one of the people who played a great magic role in the revival of Manchester United. He has a great place in his club. In 2001 he voted to be a horn player at Manchester United. And to this day, Manchester United are calling for Cantona as “King Eric”.

Eric Cantona is also famous for his problems with the referees and for creating problems with the players or the public. And is also famous for his quotations.

23. Gabriel Batistuta

Gabriel Batistuta

Argentine football legend Gabriel Omar Batistuta is one of the world’s top scorers, a star known as Patty Gole.

With his great passion for Fiorentina, he played with Fiorentina and accompanied Maradona and Messi. He is undoubtedly one of the best strikers in the history of football in history. He was known for his unique ability to pay successfully on the goal from any place and any angle with amazing accuracy.

Batistuta decided to retire in 2005 after having played 430 games during the scoring 245 goals despite the large number of injuries.

During his career, Batistuta was crowned with the titles of the Argentine league, the Italian league, the Italian Cup. The Italian Super Cup twice, the Copa America twice and the Confederations Cup once.

He has also won numerous individual awards.

22. Kenny Dalglish

Kenny Dalglish

Kenneth Mathieson Dalglish, born March 4, 1951 in Dlamarnock, Glasgow, Scotland. Is a former Scottish footballer and football coach who is considered one of the best players in the history of Liverpool.

He was named by the club’s public as King Kenny. The list of the best 125 live players in March 2004. Dalglish began his career with Celtic in 1969 and played with them until 1977.

He participated in 204 matches and scored 112 goals. In 1977 he moved to Liverpool, In 1990. He participated in them in that period in 355 games and scored 118 goals.

21. Paolo Maldini

Paolo Maldini

Born on June 26, 1968 in Milan, Italy, the son of former footballer Cesare Maldini.

Maldini plays in the left back and center of the defense. Throughout his long career, he has played for AC Milan. Where he played more than 600 matches in the Italian league with the club.

And broke the number of Franco Barizi. A former Milan player who played 512 matches in the Italian league with AC Milan. And despite his age now, but he managed to keep his high.

Overall, AC Milan won seven Serie A titles, the Italian Cup title. Five Serie A titles and Italian titles Won five Champions League titles. Four European super titles.

Globally, the Club World Cup has been crowned on two occasions by the old designation. And once by the modern designation.

20. Garrincha


Garrincha, whose full name was Manuel Francisco dos Santos, was the veteran colleague of Pele. The young man in the Brazil team who won the world championship in 1958 in Sweden.

he was the absolute star in the 1962 squad that kept the title in Brasilia.

Despite the birth defects that hinder him even from walking. Garrincha challenged the handicap with a dodge that made him the most right wing in the history of football. Green fields so far.

It was said that :

«for football, such as Picasso for art».

the great player had many problems in his personal life that made him quite unwanted in his own entourage which made him end up all alone in his last days .

19. Franco Baresi

Franco Baresi

Franco Baresi was born on May 8, 1960, a former Italian soccer player and current football coach.

He is one of the few players who have played for one club throughout their career.

Baresi is one of the world’s greatest defenders, one of the best at the Libero World Football Center. Baresi hasn’t played for a club other than AC Milan. He has played 531 matches and scored 16 goals. He retired in 1996 , At the age of 36 years.

Franco Baresi has scored with AC Milan six titles for the Italian league, three times the Champions League. And no one received the number 6 in AC Milan after the retirement of football in honor of him.

Internationally, Franco Baresi played for Italy with 81 internationals and scored one goal.

He was one of the players who played in the 1982 World Cup in Spain and won the Italian national football team.

18. Zico


Arthur Antunes Coimbra is a Brazilian footballer known as Zico. Born on March 3, 1953 in Rio de Janeiro, Zico is a purely sports family.

The Brazilian star was a goalkeeper and his two brothers were also excellent football players who played for Brazil And Zico began playing the ball at an early age and showed unique and distinctive skills in the streets of Rio de Janeiro.

Zico is one of the legends of the Brazilian team and one of the top goals of the first-class Zico managed to score 52 goals through 72 encounters with the stars of the samba. Participate with Salsao in many occasions states.

After his retirement. Zico went to the world of training and started his career in Japan, especially in the club of Kashima Antlers. Who was a player in his ranks and helped the team to enter the world of professionalism and achieve the championships with him. Which prompted the Japanese Federation to make him coach for the team that won the Asian Cup 2004.

It helped them Qualifying for the 2006 World Cup, and later move Zico among many Asian and Arab teams.

17. Stanley Matthews

Stanley Matthews

Stanley Matthews, born February 1, 1915 in Hanley, England, died on 23 February 2000 in Stoke-on-Trent, England. A former English footballer and former English football coach.

He started his career with Stoke City in 1932 and played with them. Until 1947, he played with them in 262 games and scored 51 goals. In 1947 he moved to Blackpool, played with them until 1961. Played with them in 380 games and scored 17 goals.

In 1961 he returned to Stoke City, , And participated with them in 59 games and scored 3 goals. Started playing with England in 1934 and 1957, and participated in 54 games and scored 11 goals. Wort Valley since 1965 and until 1968.

He is the first player won the Ballon d’Or.

16. Roberto Baggio

Roberto Baggio

Roberto Baggio (born February 18, 1967 in Caldunio, Vicenza Province) is a former Italian footballer who is considered one of the best players of his country and one of the best players in the world in the 1990s.

In 1993, he won the European Player of the Year award and the World Player of the Year award.

Baggio was chosen in the century’s team of the best 11 players of the last century presented by FIFA.

In addition, Baggio was ranked 16th in the ranking of world soccer, which selected the top 100 players of the previous century and is the first Italian in this category.

15. Gerd Müller

Gerd Müller

Gerd Muller is one of the most important players in the history of German football, as one of the best scorers in history.

At the international level with West Germany, he scored 68 goals in 62 games, and at the club level, after 15 years with Bayern Munich, scored 365 goals in 427 Bundesliga matches and scored 66 international goals in 74 European matches.

In 1982, he fell into a recession and suffered from alcoholism. However, his former colleagues at Bayern Munich convinced him of a rehabilitation program to eliminate alcoholism.

He then got a job with the second team of the Bavarian club. In October 2015, Muller was declared to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.

14. Bobby Moore

Bobby Moore

Is a former English footballer, born in Essex in April 1941, was England’s 1966 World Cup winner.

He played for West Ham United, Fulham, Seattle Saunders.He Is a top-ranked defender and captain of England’s 1966 World Cup winner.

Moore is considered as a leading figure who managed to get the captain’s armband at an early age and maintained it in 90 international appearances.

He starred in the 1970 Mexico World Cup. He retired in 1976 but returned to play with the club Seattle, USA.

Bobby Moore died of cancer in 1993.

13. Ronaldo


Luís Nazário de Lima (Ronaldo), also known as Ronaldo, is a former Brazilian soccer player who retired from playing football in February 2011.

Ronaldo was born on September 22, 1976 in Rio De Janeiro is home to Brazil. He is considered to be the best footballer of all time in history, according to many.

He is considered one of the best players in football ever. Ronaldo is characterized by speed, skill and endurance. He won the FIFA World Player of the Year award at the age of 20 in 1996, He achieved it on two other occasions in 1997 and 2002.

he is also smaller than the winner of the Ballon d’Or Award in 1997, as he won on another occasion in 2002.

12. Bobby Charlton

Bobby Charlton

Sir Robert “Bobby” Charlton, born October 11, 1937 in Ashington, Northumberland, England, was a former English footballer and one of Manchester United’s most famous players.

The winner of the 1966 FIFA World Cup, was named the best player in Europe. He played 106 matches, including the 1966 World Cup and the 1970 FIFA World Cup, and remained 45-year-old in the top spot.

Scoring 49 goals for the England national football team, and is historically the second scorer of the Engel team Wayne Rooney, who grabbed the top scorer of the England football team by 50 goals in 2015.

11. Lev Yashin

Lev Yashin

Russian legend, Lev Yashin, was born in 1929, while he is twelve years old!
The myth of World War II, he returned to work in a factory with his family to earn a living, Yashin has many titles, including Black Spider — Black Panther — Black Octopus.

All these names were known by the Russian legend Lev Yashin. Yashin started his career with Dynamo Moscow in 1950, but did not play men’s official matches until 1953, during which time he played with Dynamo on hockey as a goalkeeper.

He won the USSR Hockey Cup in 1953 Yashin spent his entire career with Dynamo Moscow from 1950 to 1970, where he won the Soviet Championship five times and the trophy three times.

Leav Yashin’s retirement was in Moscow in the presence of 100,000 fans and many other world-class stars, including Pele, Franz Beckenbauer And Eusebio.

10. Eusébio


Eusebio da Silva Ferreira (born January 25, 1942, died on January 5, 2014) is a former Portuguese football player who was playing at the center of the attack.

The 1966 World Cup scorer with nine goals, played for Benfica. He died on January 5, 2014 at the age of 71.

As a result of a severe heart attack. Uzibio was the scorer in his country’s historic record with 41 goals in 64 matches, until Pauleta equalized and surpassed his record against Latvia on 12 October 2005.

Uzibio was also the most player Portuguese since 1972 until Tamagnini Nene participated in his 64th match against Yugoslavia on June 2, 1984 in a friendly match, and broke the number of Uzibio during the 1984 European Championship on June 20 against Romania.

He participated for the first time with Portugal against Luxembourg on 8 October 1961, Where he lost his country 4–2, scored his team’s first goal in the game.

9. Marco Van Basten

Marco Van Basten

Marco van Basten (born October 31, 1964) is a former Dutch footballer and current football coach.

He is one of the best scorers in the world and is considered to be the best final touch in the world.

Marco Van Basten won the Golden Ball three times in 1988, 1989 and 1992. He was named the best player in the world and the best player in Europe before he retired at a young age (30 years) Only because of an ankle injury and goes on to train eight years later to become assistant coach of the team back to Ajax Amsterdam and then the Dutch team and then Ajax again.

But the main team this time and from it to the Dutch Sheerenveen and Dutch AZ Zalker.

8. George Best

George Best

George Best (lived between May 22, 1946 and November 25, 2005), the Irish footballer played for Manchester United and Northern Ireland.

Best began his career with Manchester United when he was 17 years old 1963, and only two years later contributed to the league winning the championship for the first time in eight years followed by another victory in 1967.

In 1968, Best Manchester helped to become the first English club to win the Champions League. He played 474 appearances for Manchester United, scoring 180 goals, 37 appearances for England, England’s best player in 1976 and the best player in Europe in 1972.

George Best was also the club’s top scorer. He died at Cromwell Hospital in West London Friday 25 November 2005 at the age of fifty-ninth.

7. Ferenc Puskás

Ferenc Puskás

Ferenc Puskas (April 1, 1927 — November 17, 2006) is a former Hungarian soccer player and former football coach.

He was part of Hungary’s golden team with Sandor Kucić. Ferenc Puskás played for Real Madrid and has won numerous tournaments including the Champions League The Spanish league and the King of Spain Cup.

He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2000. Ferenc Puskás was allowed to leave the hospital in Budapest in September 2006, about two months before he died, after spending nearly six years in the hospital.

On the recommendation of the then president Joseph Blatter. The award was named after Hungary’s Ferenc Puskas and Real Madrid in the 1950s and 1960s, in honor of his record-breaking career with 84 goals in 85 appearances.

Cristiano Ronaldo The first to be crowned in this award in 2009.

6. Alfredo Di Stéfano

Alfredo Di Stéfano

(July 4, 1926 July 7, 2014) Alfredo Di Stefano, was a football player, and an Argentine coach.

He is considered among the best players in the history of football. He is known for his great achievements with Real Madrid, where he played a key role in the club’s dominance of the European Champions Cup (the old name of the Champions League) and the Spanish league in the 1950s.

Along with Francisco Gento and Jose Maria Zaraga, was one of only three players who were present in all five successive titles crowned by Real Madrid in the European Champions Cup, scoring goals in each of the five finals.

5. Michel Platini

Michel Platini

He is a former French footballer (born June 21, 1955) of Italian origin to his grandfather Francesco, who emigrated from Italy to France to establish himself. Play for the French national football team. Is one of the legends of the ball of his time.

Platini is one of the greatest and best ball handlers in the history of football, and although he plays in the midfield, he has also emerged very much in the scoring.

“This player can push the ball through the needle’s eye and end up in the net,” said Bobby Charlton.

Platini also features in the implementation of free kicks.

4. Franz Beckenbauer

Franz Beckenbauer

The legend Franz Beckenbauer, who was born on September 11, 1945 in Munich, is a German footballer and one of the best stars in the history of the World Cup as a player or coach.

Franz Beckenbauer has many achievements and championships in his great history as a special player with Germany. The first real achievement was the second place in the 1966 World Cup before the Manchavt won the European Nations Cup in 1972. Also, in the 1974 edition of the World Cup led them to achieve the title at the expense of the Netherlands mills.

The retired German Franz Beckenbauer also has many achievements as a football player , Especially with Bayern Munich, who played his shirt for 13 seasons.

3. Johan Cruyff

Johan Cruyff

Hendrik Johannes Cruyff was born on April 25, 1947 and was known among the people as Johan Cruyff.

He was a football player of the highest caliber. He also achieved a lots in his career as a player and coach, whether with clubs he played for or from the national team.

The Dutchman who was his leader in the period he played, and Cruyff is characterized by the spherical mind and skill in football, was characterized by speed, lightness and agility and amazing payments from the income of the penalty area and outside. He’s considered by some as the best players who have passed the history of football.

The Netherlands won numerous awards Including the following:

  • The Dutch league with Ajax 8 times.
  • The Netherlands Cup with Ajax 5 times.
  • The European Cup with Ajax 3 times.
  • The European Super Cup with Ajax once.
  • The Intercontinental Cup with Ajax once.
  • Spanish league with Barcelona once.
  • The Spanish Cup with FC Barcelona once.
  • The Netherlands Cup with Ajax twice.
  • European Cup Cup with Ajax once.
  • Spanish league with FC Barcelona 4 times.
  • King of Spain Cup with Barcelona once.
  • Spanish Super Cup with FC Barcelona NH 3 times.

2. Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona

Diego Armando Maradona (born October 30, 1960) is an Argentine footballer and arguably the most controversial player in the history of football.

Also, He is considered by many to be the best player in football history. Maradona plays in four World Cups, including Mexico In 1986, where he led Argentina to victory over West Germany in the final. He also won the Golden Ball award as the best player in the tournament.

1. Pelé


Edson Arantes do Nascimento (known as Pelé) is a retired Brazilian footballer born on October 23, 1940 in the city of Tris Caracos in Brazil.

Pele is regarded by many as the best player in the history of football.

“Pele is a national hero who has played as a striker and a playmaker. He is famous for playing in the back balls and he regrets that he did not score such a ball at the World Cup.”

According to the International Federation of Football History and Statistics; Pele is the world’s most successful scorer, Scoring 541 goals in the league.

In his career, Pele scored 1281 goals In 1363 appearances, including informal friendly matches, and this became more than a record in the history of football, and was listed in the Guinness Book of Records.

Pele announced his retirement in 1977 and was appointed ambassador to all football around the world. In 2010, Pelé was appointed Honorary President of New York Cosmos.

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